Dubai: Touchscreen devices are quite common nowadays and we can see various screen sizes, resolutions and the software’s being improved day to day. With these touchscreen devices, users are finding it difficult to type larger texts. So, several apps and techniques have been developed to make this task a bit easier. One such technique is the continuous input where the users just have to slide on the alphabets continuously until they complete a word. But this technique presents normal user with a usability challenge.
How ‘Continuous Input’ works?
Continuous Input (CI) is just a technique that takes you a step ahead than tapping to type on your devices. The technique lets you type words just by sliding your fingers on the keys until you complete a word. The users can also slide their fingers across the space in between the words. The concept is simple; it takes some time to lift the fingers on typing every letter. So, this technique improves the text input rate by saving time.
Tapping vs. Continuous input:
In normal typing (by tapping on keys), the taps are differentiated by the signals which are generated from the fingers touching the screen; whereas in continuous input method, the key taps are differentiated by a complicated algorithm that analyses several factors like the finger’s path on the keyboard and also the time spent on each key. Based on these factors, the software searches the dictionary and gives you the required word. You can also enable predictive text inputs which increases the typing rate even more.
Problem with continuous input:
The technique of continuous input works really well with just an exception. i.e. when the users are tapping on the keyboard, they will be having a clear vision of the keyboard so that they will be able to point the finger on the required position. But in the case of continuous input, as the users will be sliding their fingers to type the text, their fingers would cover some keys and they would not be able to identify the position of the keys. They have to spend time in locating the key. This technique is apt for those who have a strong mental representation of the keyboard’s layout.
There are plenty of mobile devices now and these devices present a new class of design challenge because of their sizes. So the usability, which is termed as the critical aspect of the user experience, is troublesome in continuous input typing which is a technique developed with an intension to increase the typing speed on mobile devices.
There are certain advantages and also disadvantages on using the continuous input technique on mobile devices. But, it definitely works well for those who are perfect with the representation of keyboard’s layout.
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